Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

Tanya Dhein

For decades, holiday variety specials on TV offered audiences a doorway into the living rooms of big celebrities like Perry Como, Andy Williams and Bing Crosby. Of course, the living rooms were really soundstages and the family moments a bit over-scripted; but all the same, these shows were a special part of the season for families around the country.

Epilogue

Dec 2, 2016

On a scale of one to ten of how she's doing, these days Lauren Weedman is a solid eight. But the author of Miss Fortune: Fresh Perspectives on Having It All From Someone Who Is Not Okay hasn't always been this 'okay.' In fact, she revealed to host Ophira Eisenberg, "When I started writing the book, I was way less okay. It was very much embracing ... what a mess [I am]."

Chapter One

Dec 2, 2016

There's nothing like retreating to your favorite secluded spot and indulging in a good book. Next best thing? Hearing Jonathan Coulton sing about other people who enjoy seclusion, too! Then, nonfiction books get the blockbuster movie trailer treatment. Finally, find the perfect reading snack with a mash-up game featuring book titles reimagined as foods.

Heard On Literary Favorites

Prologue

Dec 2, 2016

The first step in choosing a great book to read? Check the reviews. Guess classic novels like Moby Dick from their actual one-star Amazon reviews. Then, see if you can tell the difference between a Choose Your Own Adventure book and a Weekly World News headline in one of the very first This, That, or the Others written for the AMA stage.

Heard On Literary Favorites

Harper Collins Publishers

  *Original airdate: 09/19/16

Wisconsin native Danielle Trussoni wrote a memoir ten years ago that focused on her childhood in La Crosse. It explored how she came to terms with her dad, who had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from his service as a so-called “tunnel rat” during the Vietnam War. 

We're lucky enough to be joined this week by Daisy Rosario and Margaret Willison for looks at two new girl-themed stories.

First, non-Gilmore Girls person Stephen Thompson sits out of our usual rotation as we cover the return of the people of Stars Hollow in four new movies available on Netflix. Did we get what we were hoping for from this reunion? Did we get too much of Logan's goofy friends, or not enough? And what of Jess and his duffel bag?

Hot-Dog Tiaras And Other '70s Dinner Party' Delicacies

Dec 2, 2016

Last summer, Anna Pallai was leafing through her mom's cookbooks — sauce-splashed volumes of Robert Carrier recipes, issues of Supercook pinched together in a ringed binder — when she realized she'd stumbled across a gold mine. The books were full of meaty aspics and mousses coaxed into elaborate shapes: a crown made of blunted hot dogs, seafood mousse sculpted into the shape of a maniacally grinning fish.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When you walk into the Smithsonian's "Art of the Qur'an" exhibition, you're met with a book that weighs 150 pounds. The tome, which dates back to the late-1500s, has giant pages that are covered in gold and black Arabic script.

Perspective is everything in horror films. The most important decision any scare flick can make is whether it expects the audience to identify with the villain or their victims. To see through the eyes of the prey (as in Rosemary's Baby, or this year's excellent Under the Shadow) requires only that the director make their situation realistically terrifying, so that we imagine we are frightened for our lives, too.

Late in mid-life Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert), a Paris high school philosophy teacher, suffers a string of punishing losses that threaten not just her well-being and sense of fulfillment, but her entire identity as a wife, daughter, mother and professional woman. Her husband (Andre Marcon) announces he's moving in with the mistress he's kept a secret for many years. Nathalie is forced to move the fragile mother (Edith Scob) she has propped up since childhood into assisted living; it doesn't go well.

The audacious biopic Jackie opens on the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts in 1963, merely a week after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Though she welcomes a journalist into one of the Kennedy residences along Cape Cod, the now-former First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, has no permanent home. History has shredded her lease at The White House, which she had controversially renovated during her husband's time in office, and her belongings had been hastily shuffled to storage, like a college kid taking a break between semesters.

One of the visual motifs of the stark and shocking Lao Shi (Old Stone) is a cigarette burning in the dark. As the movie's taxi-driving protagonist inhales, the tip pulses red like a warning beacon. It signals danger on the road.

The hazard is explained casually in the opening scene, in which Lao Shi (Chen Gang) waits while listening to a radio report about a driver who hit someone, but didn't kill him. Rather than be responsible for the victim's medical costs, the driver backed up and ran over him. In China, life can be cheaper than hospital bills.

Jenny Plevin

When Black Nativity opened in New York in 1961, Langston Hughes had been a published poet and essayist for 40 years. It was one of the first plays by an African American to be staged off-Broadway. And it has received productions around the country ever since.

Jacobo Lovo

For more than a quarter century, Latino Arts, Inc. has been celebrating Latino culture through music and art. From the Mariachi orchestra made up of local school children, to hosting international musical acts and artists in its facilities within the United Community Center on the near south side, Latino Arts serves as a model for arts education, urban youth development and cultural engagement.

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